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Sfstory Log 069

Date:         Wed, 15 Feb 1995 00:59:27 -0500
From:         plot convenience playhouse (SWEDE at DRYCAS.BITNET)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists III, episode sixteen

                            RENEGADE ANARCHISTS III:
                              THE SLINGING OF MUD
                              (a Tale of Sfstory!)
                                  Episode 16
                                 Gary W. Olson


     Bennett Quark puttered around the fair-sized laboratory, muttering
vaguely scientific-sounding things to himself.  All around him, lights flashed,
glass vials bubbled with sinister multi-colored liquids, and electricity leapt
from big metal thing to big metal thing.  A few parts of the room appeared to
be on fire, but Bennett was fairly sure that those were just the standard 'fire'
displays that were all over the warship he was on, the P.L.S. Tell-Tale Heart.
     He only occasionally spared a glance at Cardinals Hagen and Van Cleef, who
were strapped to a table in the center of the lab.  The eyes of the Cardinals,
however, did not leave Bennett, as they knew he held their fate, and lives, in
his hands.  There were a couple of guards in the room, standing by the door,
but since they weren't demons, the Cardinals felt safe putting them on their
'B' list of things to worry about.
     Their 'A' list, in no particular order of importance, was 1) getting out,
2) getting out alive, 3) getting out alive with all the body parts that
belonged to them, 4) getting out alive with all the body parts that belonged
to them still inside and/or attached to them, and 5) that the mind-probe they
were being threatened with might reveal that they had, indeed, touched the
     "Very well, gentlemen, everything is in readyness," Bennett said, finally.
"I'd like to get this done quickly, so I can get back to examining the ship
you were captured in."
     "Will it hurt?" Cardinal Hagen asked, nervously.  "I have a low tolerance
for pain."
     "So do I," Cardinal Van Cleef added.  "Not to mention a slight queasiness
in the presence of all this menacing, sharp-edged equipment."
     "I'm afraid it will hurt," Bennett said.  "In fact, it will reduce your
brains to the consistency of purreed beets, and every moment of it will be
like listening to Pauly Shore sing opera.  On the positive side, it will relieve
you from the tedium of having to remember to do things like eating, or
     He pressed a button, and a huge metal thing, with nicely detailed fins
and whatever you call those rings that go around the conical central part,
descended until it was about an inch in front of Cardinal Hagen's frightened
     "Don't worry," Bennett said, "I won't mention the sheep in my report."
     "Thanks," Van Cleef said, obviously relieved.  "I--hey!"
     Bennett pressed more buttons, and the sinister metal thing started glowing
a sinister shade of hellfire red.  Hagen closed his eyes, and desperately
tried to think of a good prayer for this sort of situation.  Nothing came to
mind, so he settled for soiling himself.
     There was a sound, not the sound that Hagen was expecting (namely, that
of Pauly Shore singing opera), but a sound that went more like 'thunk!  agh!
thud!'  He kept his eyes closed, just in case.
     When he felt his restraints being undone, he opened his eyes, he looked
up at two men, one with a thick, bushy beard, the other with no beard, but
two small, lumpish horns.  He recognized them as the lab's guards.
     "What--?" Van Cleef asked, as he sat up.
     "No time to explain," the bearded guard said.  Hagen looked at the guard's
name tag, which read 'Hi!  I'm Karl Marx.'  The other guard's tag identified
its owner as 'Nootgingitch,' the same guard that had escorted them from the
warship's bridge to this room earlier.  "If we get you to your ship and help
you escape, will you take us and a few of our friends with you?"
     "Um, sure!" Van Cleef said.
     "Then follow us," Nootgingitch told them, tersely.  Hagen stepped off the
table, adjusted his robes, stepped over Bennett Quark's unconscious body, and
followed the two guards to the door, with Van Cleef closely behind him.  The
guards tapped in their i.d. codes, the doors opened, and the group disappeared
into the hallway.


     The first thing Jerriphrrt noticed was that he had not been turned into
kibble.  As you can probably well imagine, he approved of this (non-kibble)
state of being, and, seeing as how the first thing he had perceived had gone
so well, he decided to inventory the rest of the things he could perceive.
     One thing that jumped right out was the room he was in, namely, the way
it was decorated, which was almost completely unlike the ancient pseudo-
Egyptian chic of the temple.  In fact, it looked startlingly modern, with
a gleaming HyperVAX terminal in one corner, a waterbed with 'magic laser
fingers', a small stack of the Intergalactic Gazette of Cool News Stuff,
a few framed documents, and a portable refridgerator.
     Two for two, so far, Jerriphrrt thought.  Dare he go for three?
     The third thing he perceived was that he was lying face down on the
white-carpeted floor, with what felt like a very sensual, very female body
atop him, nibbling on his ear-tip.  In fact, Jerriphrrt was surprised he
hadn't perceived that before the contents of the room, or even before he
realized he hadn't been turned into kibble.
     Three for...
     "Waaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiit a minute," Jerriphrrt purred.  "Lark?"
     "Yes?" the sensual voice originating from the body atop him asked.
     "Why are you nibbling on my ear?"
     "Am I?" Lark asked.  "I...oh, dear."  Abruptly, the body rolled off of
his back, and Jerriphrrt saw that it was indeed Lark, or at least the body
of the demonically attractive succubus that Lark was currently in control
of.  "Sorry.  I was just feeling a"
     Things were taking a negative turn.  Jerriphrrt dealt with such matters
in the manner that he had acquired a good deal of proficiency with: by
scrambling to his feet and hiding behind the nearest large piece of furniture,
in this case, the refridgerator.
     "S-stay away," Jerriphrrt warned her.
     "Look, I'm a succubus now," Lark said.  "I subsist by consuming souls,
stripping their energy for my food, and sending the shriveled remainder to
Hell, Inc. for processing.  And I haven't had a soul since that ABPSARI
explosion on Earth caused me to switch from being possessed by Melu Ulem to
possessing her body.  I'm *trying* to hold back, but..."
     "I thought you said you had game show host souls to subsist on," Jerriphrrt
     "They're gone," Lark said.  "Wasn't much there to begin with.  Now, if
Melu were in here with me, I might be able to tap into her for some nourishment,
but I don't think she's in this body at all any more.  So, I'm stuck."
     "I see," Jerriphrrt replied.  "Well, you just stay stuck there for a
bit longer, and I'll see what I can rustle up, okay?"  Lark/Melu nodded.  He
stood, turned around, and ran into the priest, who had been standing behind him.
     "OOF," said the priest.
     "Yikes!" said Lark and Jerriphrrt.
     "DON'T BE FRIGHTENED," the priest said.  "ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN."  He
motioned for them to sit, and, reluctantly, they sat.  The priest, who looked
a lot like Jaye Davidson, sat down on the edge of the bed and reached for his
throat.  His smooth, delicate fingers pressed into the flesh and peeled a
chunk of it away, to reveal an electronic voice modulator.  He switched off
the modulator and removed it, revealing his real throat underneath.  "Ah,
that's better.  I have to be careful not to use that too much - otherwise
I get hiccups."
     "Who are you?" Jerriphrrt asked.  "Why weren't we turned into kibble when
we were pushed into the Stargrate?"
     "Oh, that," the priest said.  "Just something I made up to keep the natives
from investigating the portal to my hidden transporter pad.  When I pushed you
through, you were transmitted to the pad and rendered unconscious.  I arrived
moments later, picked you up, and we beamed up to my ship, which is in orbit
around this planet."  He paused.  "And as for my identity..."
     "You're Jaye Davidson," Jerriphrrt deduced.
     "No, I just look like him," the priest said.  "I'm a Time Agent -- Nelburg
Kayak, Time Agent 904.  I've been stationed undercover on the world below for
the last three years, on orders from Time Central, for no purpose I've ever been
able to fathom, save for the fact that, immediately prior to being assigned
here, I beat Sajanseel Boudoir in a game of Three-Dimensional Snooker."
     "Boudoir!" Lark exclaimed, leaping to his feet.  "This is his fault!  We've
got to get back to Time Central right away!"
     "Why?" Nelburg asked.  "I can't disobey my orders for no good reason..."
     "Nelburg, it's *me*," Lark said.  "Lark Purree!  Time Agent 90210!  You
remember me, from our Heroic Replies to Villainous Banter 628 class at IU!  I
remember you now!"
     Nelburg squinted his eyes.
     "Lark?" he asked, finally.
     "Yep," Lark replied.
     "Dude, you've *changed*."
     Lark glared.


     G.X.P. Varneyloop smiled at Kissy Hitowers, who most certainly was not
smiling back at him.  For the most part, he ignored her male companion, as
he didn't look nearly as smashing in a formfitting jumpsuit as Kissy did.
     "...don't know where're looking for is," Kissy was
saying.  "The first I ever heard about it was when I returned to my home on
Eroticon III and met your robot double.  And then he transmatted--"
     "Matterswung," Benjen corrected.
     "WhatEVER," Kissy growled.  "Matterswung us to this place, the Planet
of Supermarkets, much like you once matterswung my father to get him out
of the way..."
     "Hmmm?" G.X.P. asked.  "I had nothing to do with that."
     "How do you expect us to believe that?" Benjen asked.  "It was your
matterswing technology that was behind the disappearance of the Red Emma and
my friends, Emma, Gham, and James..."
     "I didn't do that, either!" G.X.P. protested.  "Why would I want to do
that?  What value could it possibly have?"
     That stumped them.
     "At any rate, I think you know more than you're telling," G.X.P. said.
"I hope you decide to reveal it...else you may be staying on this ship for
the rest of your natural lives."
     "Ship?" Kissy asked.  "I thought we were still on the Planet!"
     G.X.P. pressed a button on the console behind him, and panels all around
the room, and in the ceiling, opened up to reveal stars and the darkness of
space.  The Planet of Supermarkets was barely visible, and was fading rapidly.
     "We took off as soon as the Supermarket Staff tossed you in here and
closed the door," G.X.P. said.  "Latest technology - completely soundproofed
drive section, model 8000 intertial dampers - I spare no expense."
     "Wonderful," Benjen grumbled.  "So what's our destination?"
     "I'm going to see someone who's bound to have some vital information
concerning the whereabouts of the Object," G.X.P. said.  "This source of mine
knows everything..."
     "The Sage?" Benjen and Kissy asked, simultaneously.
     "No, not the Sage," G.X.P. said.  "I'd never trust that old fraud in a
million years.  Besides, last I heard, he's still getting his new space
station reconnected to all the altiverses, which is a long and arduous process,
even if you *do* know everything.  *My* source is much better.  He always
knows everything about the subject I'm asking him about at any given time.
However, on other subjects, he's dense as a post.  Don't know how he manages
it, really.  His name's Quirk."
     "Captain Jimbo Quirk of the Starship Winaprize?" Benjen and Kissy asked,
simultaneously.  Kissy scowled and whapped Benjen.
     "No, not him," G.X.P. said.  "This one just goes by the name of Quirk.
He's a bartender."
     "We're going to a bar?" Benjen asked.  "Well, why didn't you say so?"
     "*I'm* going to a bar," G.X.P. replied.  "You two will be trapped here."
Benjen snarled and leapt, only to re-encounter the force field that trapped
them in the corner of the room opposite from where G.X.P. sat.  He turned
away from them, and pressed some buttons.  "Getting ready to enter overly-
hyped space.  Next stop -- Near Space Three!"


SFSTORY.  It doesn't make any sense to me, either.
Gary W. Olson         swede at         swede at drycas.bitnet
Date:         Tue, 28 Feb 1995 01:50:41 -0500
From:         plot convenience playhouse (SWEDE at DRYCAS.CLUB.CC.CMU.EDU)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists III, episode seventeen

                            RENEGADE ANARCHISTS III:
                            THE FLAKING OF DANDRUFF
                              (a Tale of Sfstory!)
                                  Episode 17
                                 Gary W. Olson

         [featuring, in this episode only, special guest stars...the crew
           of the Starship Winaprize!, by permission of Evan Pongress]


          Space...the final topless bar...

     "No, dammit!"  (sound of backspacing)

          Space...lots of space...more space than you can shake a stick at...

     "Dammit!" (more backspacing)


     "Hello, Boner!" Captain Jimbo Quirk exclaimed, causing Dr. Boner McFly
to leap up suddenly, spilling his coffee.  "Writing your memoirs, I see."
     "Yes, dammit, I'm writing my memoirs," McFly said, grumpily.  "Everyone
*else* is, I guess I might as well, too."
     "Mimicking the activities of others is a sign of unoriginality, Doctor,"
Captain Quirk's hand puppet, Splock, seemed to say.  Quite uncharacteristically,
McFly did not take that opportunity to yell at Quirk or Splock.  Not even a
single 'dammit!'  Instead, he smiled, slightly.
     "There, you see, Splock?" Quirk asked.  "Your cheery good nature has
finally won him over."
     "Was it ever in any doubt, Captain?" Splock asked.
     "Of course not, Splock," Quirk said.  McFly growled.
     "Captain Quirk!  Captain Quirk!" ensigns Chakoff and Sulu exclaimed as
they ran onto the bridge.  "Guess what?  You'll never guess!"
     "You've completed volume 37 in your epic memoirs?" Quirk asked, excited.
     They shook their heads and giggled.
     "You've finally unscrambled the PlayBeing Channel!"
     They shook their heads again.
     "Then what?"
     "Our sensors haff detected a small town travelling at Warp Two," Chakoff
told him, excitedly.  "It will be passing by in just a few minutes!"
     "So?" McFly asked.
     "The Doctor also appears to be lacking a sense of adventure," Splock mused.
"Perhaps we should replace him with a hologram."  Chakoff and Sulu clapped
vigorously at this suggestion.
     "Dammit!" McFly commented.
     "Let's go investigate!" Quirk exclaimed.  Chakoff and Sulu jumped for joy
and raced to their bridge stations.  They entered a new heading and the
Winaprize lurched into Warped Space.  After a few minutes of maneuvering, they
found themselves travelling alongside the spacegoing town.
     "Your analysis, Mr. Splock?" Quirk asked.
     "My instruments show that you are the handsomest Captain there is!"
Splock declared.
     "Why thank you, Splock!" Quirk beamed.
     "As for the town," Splock continued, "it appears to be surrounded by a
self-sustaining Pseudoscience Bubble.  We should be able to beam through, but
I cannot say what we'll find on the other side."
     "Babes?" Sulu asked, barely able to sit still in his chair.
     "Let's find out!" Quirk exclaimed.  They took off for the turbolift,
with McFly just barely making it on before the doors closed.
     "The Doctor is also not in the best of physical conditioning," Splock
noted, smugly.
     "Well, at least I'm not a **&!! hand puppet!" McFly exclaimed.


     Quooth awoke, and saw Wayne Newton hovering in the sky.  Phe waved.  Wayne
waved back, then exploded into a shower of ball bearings that somehow dissolved
before they hit Quooth.  Bizarre colors floated past phis line of vision, and
phe realized, quite astutely, that phe was stoned off phis Wzaxtil butt.
     The reason, of course, was that, while phe had been unconscious, some
water, namely the water of the incoming tide of the pink sea that touched Nympho
Beach in Netherspace, had splashed over his body.  For Wzaxtils, which was what
Quooth was one of, this resulted in a condition marked by severe, total
hallucination and euphoria, which explains why Wzaxtils will often go light
years out of their way to find a good beach to take a nap on while waiting for
the tide to come in.
     So, as Quooth stood unsteadily and started ambulating in a markedly random
path down the beach, it is understandable that phe greeted the various unclad
people phe encountered with phrases such as 'oh, hello, Prime Minister!' and
'have you had your break today?' and 'excuse me, but why do you have the face
of Radar Vogel but the body of Ted Kennedy?'  And it would explain why, upon
seeing a large Toaster land on the beach, phe would think it was an excellent
idea to go up to it and see what it thought about the great jazz musicians of
the twenties and thirties.
     Unbeknownst to Quooth, but beknownst to us, the Toaster that he was
wobbling towards was not a hallucination at all, but was, in fact, an actual,
flying Toaster that had landed on the beach.  After the sand settled, a door
opened in the side of the Toaster and two beings stepped out, clad in flowing
white robes, sunglasses, large hats, and kitchen utensils.
     "Ah, we are here at last!" the Grand High Spatula, ruler of the once
mighty Chaotic Bastion of Silliness, whose place in the great scheme of things
was examined in mind-numbing detail in the first RA series, and won't be gone
over at all now, since it has nothing to do with anything anymore.  "Club
Nympho!  Hotel Nympho!  Beach Nympho!"
     "Finally, we are able to take a well deserved break from our Holy Duties,"
the Omnipotent Eggbeater, co-ruler of the CBS, said.  "Not that we really have
any Holy Duties, since the disappearance of the Cosmic Cuisinart."
     "True," the Grand High Spatula said, nodding sadly.  "Lost are we, without
the thing that we worship.  So we flee here, to this place of heathen lust,
to drown our sorrows in two weeks of drinking, gambling, and depraved sexual
practices."  He paused.  "I wonder where we sign in?"
     "Why don't we ask this fellow here?" the Omnipotent Eggbeater asked.
"Say, there, which way to the front desk?"
     "Purple," Quooth told them, succinctly.
     "Eh?" the Eggbeater and Spatula asked, in perplexed tones.
     "Your toad is a lovely shade of lavander," Quooth added, by way of
     "He must be the valet," the Grand High Spatula said, nodding sagely.
"Very well, young being, here are the keys.  Park our toaster in the space
lot we saw back there somewhere."  Quooth took the keys, attempted to
bite one, and started humming 'I'm a little teacup.'
     They watched him amble into the Toaster and close the door.  After
a few minutes, the engines of the Toaster started up, and it lifted off into
the Netherspace Sky.  They watched it go up...and up...and up...
     "Isn't he supposed to go down sometime?" the Omnipotent Eggbeater asked.
     "Theoretically, yes," the Grand High Spatula.  "Unless...he isn't a valet."
     "Oh dear."
     They watched their beloved Toaster disappear.
     "What do we do now?" the Omnipotent Eggbeater asked.  "Should we report
     "Too late for that, I think," the Grand High Spatula said.  "It looks like
we'll be stranded here for far longer than the two weeks we had planned."
     "But...but our funds..."
     "If we sell our Celestial Home to developers, and drain our reserve bank
accounts," the Spatula said, "we should have enough to stay here for three
     "Sell everything?" the Eggbeater asked.
     "Including the Heavenly Display of Mashed Potatoes?"
     "Hmmm...all right," the Eggbeater said.  "But what happens in three years
when we run out of money?"
     "We keep at it for as long as we can until they catch us," the Spatula
said.  "At which point, we'll be forced to work off our debt by taking jobs
as part of the Club or Hotel Staff."
     "I see," the Omnipotent Eggbeater mused.  "Doesn't strike me as being a
bad bargain, really."
     "Me neither," the Grand High Spatula said.  "Well, shall we check in?"
     "Let's!" the Omnipotent Eggbeater agreed.  They strolled down the beach,
in the direction of the Hotel Nympho.


     The sign read, 'Resurrection, Kansas.'  Or, at least, it sort of looked
like it did.  At the velocities they were travelling, Kalvin Certain was
surprised he could read anything.
     Beside him, in the driver's seat, Gham smiled, the wind whipping her
hair back as it coursed over the windshield and into the convertible.  The
miles per hour needle was on 120, the highest it would go, and Kalvin could
have sworn it was stuck there, except for the times they had had to stop for
gas and food.
     In the space of a day, they had sped from New York, through the large
field of ruins that was New England, through Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
Delaware, Pennsylvania again, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and now, Kansas.
Kalvin was impressed with how the engine was performing, for a primitive
     Darkness was growing in the sky, however, and Kalvin realized that he
felt somewhat tired.  Not so tired that he had to go to sleep -- more like
the tired right after a long nap, even though he hadn't slept since appearing
in the closet in the comic artist's studio/citadel that morning.  He looked
at Gham again.
     Not so tired at all, really.
     "I think it's time we find a motel for the night!" he yelled, over the
roar of the wind.
     "Whaaat?" she asked.
     "Motel!" he exclaimed.
     "No it's not!" Gham replied.  "It's a cow!"
     Eventually, after some frantic gesturing and yelling, she slowed down
enough to hear what he was saying.  Unfortunately, by this time, his voice
was hoarse, so she had to actually stop and wait for him to take a drink
before hearing him.
     "We should turn in for the night," Kalvin said.  "It's been a long day,
and I think we've outrun our pursuers."
     "Do we have to?" Gham asked, petulantly.  "I was having fun!  I'm going
to have to ask Jerriphrrt to get me one of these for a wedding present."
     Kalvin affected a pained look.  "About Jerriphrrt..." he started.
     "What?" Gham asked.
     "Oh...nothing, nothing," Kalvin said.  "Um, I think there's a motel just
up there.   Looks like there's a diner just next to it, so we can get something
to eat before going to sleep."  Gham started the convertible again, and drove
into the motel parking lot.  There were no cars in the lot, even though the
'vacancy' sign flickered on and off.
     "I'll go in, get our room," Kalvin told her.  "Wait here."
     "Our room?" Gham asked.
     "Well, we've only got a limited amount of money, and until we find
a way off this plaanet..."
     "Oh, okay," Gham said.  "Now what was it you were saying about Jerri?"
     "Um..." Kalvin started.  Gham glared at him, making it clear she wouldn't
let him leave until he spilled the beans.  "I didn't want to tell you this,
but...when I saw Jerriphrrt, on Eroticon III, he...he..."
     "What?" Gham asked.  "What is it?"
     "He was with another woman," Kalvin said, forcing as much sincere-sounding
sadness into his voice as possible.  "He wasn't wearing his engagement ring,
and when I asked him about you, he said, and I quote, 'Gham who?  Never heard
of the broad.'"
     "No..." Gham gasped.  "It can't be..."
     "I'm sorry," Kalvin said.  "I didn't want to tell you, since you've been
through so much."  He hesitated.  "I'm going to go in.  They should have
something with seperate beds."  She nodded, looking as though she was fighting
back tears.  Kalvin got out of the car and slowly walked towards the office
of the Motel Contract With The Devil.  By the time he reached the door, his
grin was broad.
     Too easy, he thought.  Much too easy, for someone as suave as him.
     He opened the door, and stepped inside.  At once, he was struck with how
*old* the place looked.  Not just old in the sense that the floorboards were
rotten with termites, or the fact that the cobwebs had reached the density of
certain stellar cores.  It felt like it was in the grip of an ancient curse.
     "Nonsense," Kalvin mumbled.  He stepped up to the front desk and rang
the bell.  (ting!)
     "Yessssssssssss?" a potato-like shape asked, as it uncurled from the
stool it had been sitting on since, by all available comparative references,
the Great Depression.  Kalvin thought it might be a man, but he wasn't sure,
since men, by and large, tended to lack large black circles around the eyes,
and bar codes on their foreheads.
     "Um...a room for the night, please," Kalvin said, uncertainly.  "Two
people, seperate beds."
     "Room 666," the clerk grumbled.  "Don't have any keys...don't have locks,
either.  Pay in the morning."
     "Thank you," Kalvin said, already halfway back to the door.
     "Hey," the clerk said.  "You here for the resurrection tonight?"
     "Um...maybe," Kalvin told him, tentatively.
     "It's gonna be a good one," the clerk said.  "Bring the little missus,
     "Right, right," Kalvin said, as he hurried out the door.


     Boner McFly blinked, as he materialized in Morris Tanner's front yard.
Quirk, Splock, Chakoff, and Sulu, who materialized next to him, blinked in
similar amazement.
     "Fascinating," Splock said.  "We appear to be in a small New England
     "A dull New England town," Chakoff said, sullenly.  "Where are the
women in french-cut bikinis?"
     "Captain!" Sulu exclaimed.  "According to my tri-corder readings, this
whole area is just chock-a-block with Pseudoscience Particles!"
     "Neat!" Quirk said.  "Splock, can you tell us what that means?"
     "Of course, Captain!" Splock answered.
     "Dammit, Jimbo..." McFly started.
     "Not now, Boner," Quirk said, scoldingly.  "Splock is about to deliver
a brilliant analysis of what is going on."
     "I don't think so," McFly said.  "In fact..."  McFly whipped a hand
puppet out from under his shirt and placed it on his hand.
     "I think Splock has gone completely mental!" the puppet seemed to
     Quirk looked at McFly, oddly.
     "Hah!" McFly exclaimed, victoriously.  "I decided that since I can't
beat you, I might as well join you!  So I made my own hand puppet!  Say hello
to Nurse Chapparal, Jimbo!"  Indeed, the hand puppet was dressed in a nurse's
outfit, some amazingly lifelike hair, and a fair amount of makeup.
     "Jimbo," Splock said.
     "Yes, Splock?" Quirk asked.
     "Are you aware that the Doctor is playing with puppets?"
     "Why, you know, Splock, I had no idea!" Quirk exclaimed.  "I'm glad you
pointed that out!"
     "You're welcome, Captain," Splock said, pleased.
     "Dammit!" McFly exclaimed.
     "Can I help you?" Morris Tanner asked, from the porch.  They turned to
see the middle aged man, who was gazing at them calmly, scratching behind the
ears of a large, apparently friendly dog.
     "Greetings!" Quirk exclaimed.  "We're the crew of the Starship Winaprize.
Are you aware that your town is travelling at Warp Two through the icy depths
of space, on a lonely voyage toward an unknowable destiny?"
     "Good imagery, Jimbo!" Splock enthused.
     "Why, thank you, Splock."
     With that, the dog jumped up and leapt at McFly, snagging Nurse Chapparal
in his teeth before the Doctor knew what was happening.
     "Hey, Dammit!" McFly exclaimed.  "Leggo!  Ow!"
     "Dammit!" Morris yelled.  "Back on the porch, boy!"  The dog, whose name
was, obviously, Dammit, pulled the Nurse Chapparal puppet off of McFly's hand
and took it back to the porch to properly rip to shreds.  McFly sighed, and
rubbed his sore hand.
     "Boner appears to have given up his delusions, Splock," Quirk said.  "Good
thing he listened to you."  Chakoff and Sulu applauded vigorously.  McFly
     "Now what's this about us being in space?" Morris asked.  "Near as I
can tell, it looks like an ordinary summer day here.  Of course, it's looked
that way for the past seven years."
     "Eet looks, sir, like your town was hurled into space at Warp Two by
a Space/Netherspace reaction of some kind," Chakoff said.  "In this reaction,
a Pseudoscience Bubble was created that has, since then, reshown the weather
conditions for the twenty-four hours before the blast every day."
     "Not only that," Sulu enthused, "but it appears that the Bubble is also
providing you with breathable air, gravity, radio signals from the time you
left Earth, tv programs from that time, food, water, beer, and newspapers!"
     "Which means..." Morris started.
     "This is one *happening* Pseudoscience Bubble!" Sulu and Chakoff
exclaimed in unison.
     "So that's what the Weird Thing that happened to us was," Morris mused.
"Thought it might be something like that."  He paused.  "You fellas know
where we're heading, then?"
     "I'm afraid not," McFly said.
     "Well, then, it was nice of you to drop in," Morris said.  "See you
fellas around!"
     "Thank you, sir!" Quirk told Morris.  "Quirk to Spot -- beam us up."
     "But suh, there is no up in space!" Spotty's voice crackled over the
     "Spotty..." Quirk said, warningly.  Instantly, he, Splock, McFly, Chakoff,
and Sulu dematerialized from within Freeport, Maine, and reappeared in the
transporter room.  "Good job, Mr. Spot," Quirk said.
     "Thank ye, Captain," Mr. Spot said, as he stepped out from behind the
transporter controls, as Sulu and Chakoff raced to the turbolift, to return
to the bridge.  "While you were gone, I took the liberty of determining where
this town is looks like it's on a crash course for a space station
in the Bore-an star system -- Near Space Three, I think it is."
     "Hmmm," Quirk said, as they stepped out of the transporter room, crossed
the hallway, and entered engineering.  "I wonder if we should tell them.  I...
Near Space Three?"
     "Yes, suh?"
     "Isn't that in the SFSTORY altiverse, Splock?" Quirk asked.
     "I believe it is, Jimbo," Splock said.  "You have a most amazing memory."
     "Dammit!" McFly exclaimed, just to demonstrate he had followed them.
     "Mr. Spot, we were in altiverse 000SUPERGUY this morning, weren't we?"
Quirk asked.
     "Aye," Spot said.  "We shifted when we went into warp."
     "Mr. Chakoff," Quirk said, into his communicator.  "Warp ten zillion,
for ten seconds!"
     "Yay!" the reply came.  Instantly, the Winaprize lurched into warped
space, stayed there a while, and left.
     "Mr. Sulu, our present position?" Quirk asked.
     "We are in orbit around Planet Mexico, in altiverse 000SUPERGUY," Sulu
     Quirk glared at Spot.
     "You've been using the Warped Engines to mix dacquiris again, haven't
you?" he asked, testily.
     "But, suh, I've got a whole hot tub to fill!"
     Quirk drew his phaser and shot at the apparatus of wires and pipes
connecting the hot tub to the Warped Core.  With a zing and a ping, the
connections disappeared.
     "But suh..." Spot said, disappointedly.
     "No buts, Spotty," Quirk said, sternly.  "At least now we're permanently
fixed in the Superguy altiverse!"
     "And we've got a hot tub filled with daquiri mix," Splock pointed out.
     "Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Splock?" Quirk asked his hand puppet.
     "Skinny dipping!" Splock exclaimed, happily.
     "Yay!" Quirk exclaimed, pulling off his uniform and hopping into the hot
tub, followed by Mr. Spot.  Sulu and Chakoff materialized, via transporter,
above the hot tub and cannonballed in.
     "Dammit, Jimbo, move over!" McFly exclaimed, as he leapt in.


The first three questions won't be answered, seeing as the Winaprize and it's
crew were only one-episode guests in this series.  The remaining questions
also have similar little chance of ever really being answered, but, unlike the
first three, there's no good reason behind it.

SFSTORY.  Worth its weight in hallucinations.
Gary W. Olson         swede at         swede at drycas.bitnet
Date:         Tue, 7 Mar 1995 00:24:40 -0500
From:         plot convenience playhouse (SWEDE at DRYCAS.CLUB.CC.CMU.EDU)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists III, episode eighteen

                            RENEGADE ANARCHISTS III:
                              THE ROWING OF BOATS
                              (a Tale of Sfstory!)
                                  Episode 18
                                 Gary W. Olson


     "You have docking clearance at dock 14-beta," the female voice crackled
over the subspace radio link.  "Your favorite port, G.X.P."
     "Thank you, Major Leer-a," G.X.P. Varneyloop said.  "Or should I say,
thank you Major Leer-a No-Rash, Legendary Bore-an Cyborg Killing Machine
Beyond Time and Space?"
     "Oh, Varney," Leer-a sighed.  G.X.P. grinned and shut the radio off,
closing his contact with Near Space Three.
     "Like putty in my hands," he said to himself, as he pushed the button
marked 'do all the actual work of docking the ship.'
     "Look, are you sure you couldn't let us out for a while?" Benjen asked.
"You mentioned a bar, and we could sure use a drink about now..."  Kissy
Hitowers glared at him.  "...or at least I could."
     "I don't plan on being here long enough to let you have any exercise,"
Varneyloop told them.  "Once I get the information I need from the bartender,
Quirk, we'll be on our way to secure The Object."
     "What *is* this Object, anyway?" Kissy asked.  "Is it something we should
know about?"
     "Perhaps you truly do know nothing about what I seek," Varneyloop mused.
"Perhaps not.  Should Quirk somehow fail to provide me with the information I
need, I'll have to try to get it out of you..."  He let the sentence trail off,
as he smiled in his best Public Relations manner.  With a tip of his garish
green hat, he exited the bridge, on his way to the airlock that would be
connecting to the Bore-an space station.
     "Hoo," Benjen sighed, leaning back.  "Now what?"
     "Don't ask me," Kissy grumbled.  "You're the hero."
     "No I'm not!" Benjen protested.  "I'm a renegade anarchist!"
     "Whatever," Kissy said.  "You're just going to let him keep you cooped
up in here forever?"
     "Um, I'm thinking about it," Benjen said.
     Kissy sighed.
     "This just makes me want to *scream*..."
     "No!" Benjen exclaimed, sitting up at whiplash velocities.  "I'll think
of something!  Really!"  He looked around, in something of a panic.  Kissy
giggled a bit and leaned back, which only served to distract Benjen more,
and throw him into more of a panic.
     Then, he stopped.  Cautiously, he reached out, and touched the edge of
the energy field that kept them in a safe corner of the bridge.
     "Bzzt," said the energy field.
     "Ouch!" Benjen replied.
     "What are you trying to do?" Kissy asked.
     "This, I think," Benjen said.  He stood, and reached his arms out towards
the energy field.  Kissy's eyes widened as electricity leapt from Benjen's
hands and hit the field, sending green shimmering effects rippling along its
length.  Benjen closed his eyes, and, amazingly enough, the power of the
electricity pouring from him increased.
     It was almost enough.  Almost.  He needed something, a little extra surge
to put him over the top.
     "Not now--" Benjen managed to say, when Kissy tapped him on the shoulder.
His head turned as he said this, and, before he could react, Kissy stood on her
toes and gave him a kiss worthy of a Senior-Year Space Ingenue Undergrad at
Interstellar University.
     This had its good and bad effects.  The good ones mostly revolved around
the sudden surge of power that leapt almost involuntarily out of Benjen,
overwhelming the poor, suddenly outclassed defensive grid.
     "Fizzle," said the energy field, as it disappeared.
     The bad ones revolved around the effects the kiss had on Kissy Hitowers,
who wasn't what one would comfortably call 'grounded'.
     "Szzzksszkkkkzzt!" was what it sounded like.
     "Oops," Benjen said, catching Kissy as she fell forward.  She slumped in
his arms for a few moments, before gathering her strength and pushing away.
     "What did you do *that* for?" she asked, angrily.
     "I didn't know you were going to do that!" Benjen shot back.  "I was
already pushing my limits as it was -- and fine control has never really been
my specialt..specialt...*giggle*."
     "What?" Kissy asked, not realizing that her hair was now standing straight
out from her head.  "Out with it!"
     "Nothing, nothing," Benjen managed to say.  "Um, we'd better follow
     "Right," Kissy sighed.  "Lead on, anarchist."
     "My pleasure," Benjen said, starting towards the corridor leading to
the airlock.  Grumbling, Kissy followed.


     "Butterfly, where'd you go?" Logan asked, happily.  The former chief of
Time Central and current Overly-Lobotomized Refugee in Time Central looked
all around, but the multi-colored butterfly he had been following for the
last few hours wasn't around.
     Logan frowned, trying to remember where he had seen the butterfly last.
Given that, for all practical purposes, he lacked any form of memory, short
or long term, it was understandable that the attempt would meet with failure.
     Voices distracted Logan, and he drifted aimlessly through the dimmed
corridors, homing in on their source.  It was a room in front of him, a room
that had big signs in big red letters all around the doorway.
     "Pretty," Logan giggled.
     Just then, Logan heard a slapping sound.  Time Agent Saran Scone stalked
out of the room, not even noticing Logan in her anger.  She was followed by
Time Agent Hullen Nel, whose right cheek seemed to be glowing red, and who
was saying something about giving her a second chance to ask her out.  He,
too, didn't notice Logan.
     Logan stood there and picked his nose.
     Finally, he saw something, a flash of color, coming from the room the two
Time Agents had just left.
     "Butterfly!" Logan exclaimed, sure it was his long-lost, hallucinatory
companion.  He rushed into the room, laughing giddly.
     The doors, marked 'Mind Transference Room - Top Clearance Only', closed
behind him, with a tiny squeak.


     "Okay, we're back on the ship," Cardinal Van Cleef said.  "This I can
deal with."
     "Can you make eet take off?" a stern-looking woman with a thick accent
asked.  "Ve haff to escape quickly."
     "Back off," Nootgingitch told her.  "It's their ship - let them handle
     The Cardinals Van Cleef and Hagen looked at the motley entourage that
had assembled on the bridge of the H.M.S. Shannon II.  All appeared to be
crewmembers of the P.L.S. Tell-Tale Heart, though, aside from that basic
common factor, it was hard to determine why they were tolerating the presence
of one another.
     "Um, perhaps you all could introduce yourselves, while Cardinal Van
Cleef readies the ship for departure?" Cardinal Hagen asked.  "You know, so
we can get to know one another?"
     "Pah!" the stern woman said.  "I need no introduction."
     "Her name's Ayn Rand," the bushy-bearded man in the private's uniform
said.  "And I, of course, am Karl Marx."
     "I am Lenin," the man next to Marx said.  "Trotsky, I believe, is securing
the hatchway as we speak."
     "You'd just better stay on your side of the ship," the man next to
Nootgingitch said.  "Or I'll have my warriors disintegrate you."
     "Hmph!" Lenin hmphd.  "Typical capitalist response!"
     "I'm Ragnuruk," the man said, to Hagen.  "I am...or was, the leader of
a tribe known as the College Republicans, which used to exist on the planet
Karma Chameleon II, until the planet blew up.  After our deaths, my tribe
was pressed into service on this ship, and forced to endure Satan's socialist
     "It's a capitalist tyranny, you mouthpiece of Satanic corporatism!"
Marx responded, angrily.  "Why do you think they call it 'Hell, Inc,'
     "Um, this is all very interesting..." Hagen started.
     "Vot are you vaiting for?" Rand asked.  "Launch the ship!"
     "Wait!" Nootgingitch exclaimed.  "We haven't selected a captain yet!"
     "I select myself!" Rand announced, thrusting a copy of her as-yet-
unpublished, posthumus epic masterpiece, _Zeus Tangoed_, into the air.
     "We can't have a captain!" Lenin countered.  "We're an autonomous
     "Quiet, everyone!" Van Cleef exclaimed.  "We're about to take off, so
everyone just strap in, and we can argue about this later, okay?"  Grumbling,
the assorted communists, free marketeers, and objectivist found seating along
the walls of the bridge and strapped themselves in.
     "How did you figure out how to control this thing?" Hagen asked.
     "He didn't," BRENDA told them.  "The only reason you two are here in
the first place is that I insisted I wouldn't help anyone escape unless you
two came along.  I kind of got you into this fix, so I'm going to help you
get out of it.  After that..."
     "We understand," Van Cleef said.
     "Then go strap yourselves in," BRENDA instructed.  Van Cleef and Hagen
sat in the command seat and fastened their seat belt.  The sound of the
spam-powered engines warming up filled the bridge.  Then, with a powerful
lurch, the H.M.S. Shannon II took off, blasting through the sealed hangar
bay door and into space.
     "Hmm, that vasn't zo bad," Rand mused.  "I'll have to put this into
chapter 814."
     The ship suddenly rocked, in response to several violent explosions
just outside.
     "What's happening?" Hagen asked, trying to keep his voice from shaking.
     "The P.L.S. Tell-Tale Heart is attacking us," BRENDA replied.  "Hang
on, I'm going to try to lose them."
     "Did she say try?" Van Cleef inquired.
     "Yes," Marx said, helpfully.
     "Oh, dear," Van Cleef muttered.


     "Um, Lark..." Jerriphrrt said, as Lark unzipped the front of her
black Time Central Special Operations Agent uniform.  "I really wish you
wouldn't do that."
     "Do what?" Lark asked, distantly.
     "That," Jerriphrrt told him.  "I mean, it's *really* distracting."
     "I'll say," Time Agent Nelburg Kayak interjected.  "Come on, Lark,
can't you hold it until we get back to Time Central?  I'm pushing as much
speed out of this old craft as I can!  Honestly!  When we get to Time
Central, they should know what to do..."
     "I can't help it," Lark told them.  "I need souls...I need your
souls, for nourishment.  I must heed this call..."
     "Oh, whoah," Jerriphrrt said, as Lark lifted him to his feet with her
fingertip.  "Look, Lark, or Melu, or whatever you want to be called...can't
we all just take a cold shower?"
     "Now there's an idea," Nelburg said.  "Why don't we all do that now?"
     "Too weak..." Jerriphrrt groaned.  "Can't resist..."
     "That's because I'm supernaturally attractive," Lark explained.  "All
succubi are Omnidesirable -- some more than others."  She beckoned, and they
followed her, more or less willingly, as she sauntered towards the bedroom.
When she reached the doorway, she turned, her tail swishing seductively
behind her.
     "Now?" Jerriphrrt asked.
     "Now!" Nelburg confirmed.
     "What--?" Lark exclaimed, as Jerriphrrt and Nelburg lunged forward and
pushed her into the bedroom.  As Melu Ulem's body fell backward in surprise,
Lark, who was possessing that body, started screaming outrage.  Nelburg
ignored all that and pushed a button on the panel by the door.  The door
hissed shut, and Nelburg pushed some more buttons, to lock the door into
     "Whew," Jerriphrrt sighed.  "That was close."
     There was a loud pounding sound on the bedroom door, which caused him to
stagger backwards in alarm.
     "Don't worry," Nelburg Kayak told him.  "That door can hold back a lot.
He...I mean she...should be safe in there until we reach Time Central."
     "Good," Jerriphrrt said.  He sighed, sitting in a chair and leaning
back.  "I never thought I'd turn down anyone with a body like that."
     "It's good that I got you to take an Anti-Seduction Tablet before we
left orbit," Nelburg told him.  "Standard issue to all Time Agents, but
probably the first time one's ever been taken."
     "I'm not surprised," Jerriphrrt chuckled.  His stomach rumbled, and
he frowned.  "Damn...I just ate a couple hours ago, too."
     "The tablets have the side effect of making you hungry," Nelburg said.
"There's a Mall Asteriod in the Piktroki system, just a couple light-years
off our path.  We could stop at a fast food place and get an order to go,
without losing much time."
     "Sounds good!" Jerriphrrt told him.  His stomach rumbled in agreement.


There's story, and then there's SFSTORY.
Gary W. Olson         swede at         swede at drycas.bitnet
Date:         Mon, 13 Mar 1995 23:58:47 -0500
From:         they moved the moon (SWEDE at DRYCAS.CLUB.CC.CMU.EDU)
Subject:      SF: Renegade Anarchists III, episode nineteen

                            RENEGADE ANARCHISTS III:
                            THE LIGHTING OF CANDLES
                              (a Tale of Sfstory!)
                                  Episode 19
                                 Gary W. Olson


     There was something very important that he was forgetting, Slithis
reflected.  It was hovering on the edge of his mind, like a moth.  It wasn't
eating...Slithis had recently had his fill of delicious pasta.  It wasn't
drinking, judging from the number of empty bottles in his suite.  And it was
very very likely that it wasn't intimate relations, as the fact of his being
surrounded by at least six unclad women and the difficulties he was having
moving anything from the neck down indicated.
     Was he going to go out and get a tan?  Slithis remembered saying something
about that to someone before, but he couldn't remember who or when.  It
couldn't have been that important, since the sun was out every day, and there
was no hurry to get under it.
     "Oh well," he said to himself, as he laid his head back down on his
fluffy pillow.  "It'll hit me sooner or later."
     The plate glass window that overlooked Nympho beach and the sea beyond it
shattered, and Zen Navigator's psychadaelic VW minibus careened into his suite,
spraying glass everywhere.  It hit the waterbed that Slithis and his bedmates
were residing on, sending them all into the nearest wall, before screeching to
a halt.
     The waterbed fell away and Slithis, who was partially imbedded into the
wall, saw Joe Don I get out of the vehicle.
     "Hey," Slithis said, woozily.  "What was that for?"
     "Zen's being kidnapped," Joe Don I said, affably, as he adjusted his
papal hat.  "I saw some guy in black robes put him into a taxi cab and drive
off with him."
     "When did this happen?" Slithis asked, hoping it was a while ago, so there
would be no hope of following them.
     "Five minutes ago," Joe Don I said.  "I was talking to Dan when I spotted
'em.  So I high-tailed it over to Zen's minibus, hotwired it, and drove up here
to pick you up.  Dan says they're probably heading for the trans-altiversal
portal leading to 001SFSTORY."
     "Um, just one thing," Slithis said, as he pried himself from the wall.
"Why does this have anything to do with me?"
     "You wanted Zen to help you find your friends, right?" Joe Don I asked.
     Slithis snapped his fingers.  "*That's* what I was trying to remember!"
He sighed, and looked down at the fortunately uninjured women sprawled around
him, all of whom were gradually readjusting to consciousness.  "I knew this
was too good to last.  Lemme just find my trousers and my boots...ah, here
we go..."  He paused.  "Wait, you drove over here in Zen's minibus?"
     "Yeah," Joe Don I said, grinning inanely.
     "We're on the seventeenth floor!" Slithis exclaimed.
     "The minibus flies," Joe Don I pointed out.
     "Ah," Slithis said.  "That'll be helpful."  He put on his trousers and
boots, and started for the passenger side of the minibus.  "I suppose you
want to drive?"
     "I've been in more car chases than any Pope in history," Joe Don I said,
proudly.  "Don't worry, I can catch 'em."
     ", Hell (tm)," Slithis said.  "What about Quooth and Schlub and
Beauregard and Lewis and Megabot and Sid and Johnny?  We can't just leave 'em
     "We don't have time to argue," Joe Don I said.  "You comin' or not?"
     "Yeah," Slithis said, as he got in.  "Why are you so hot to leave, anyway?"
     "They don't got no Schlitz," Joe Don I replied.  "Dan and I looked
everywhere.  And believe me, if there's any Schlitz around, you can bet I'll
find it."
     "I can imagine," Slithis said, as he started to shut the door.  He stopped
when he saw the door to his suite open, with Lark Purree's body (controlled
by his sideburns, Sid and Johnny) and Beauregard the small pink elephant
stepping through.
     "Hey, Slith, the nude volleyball championships are about to start,"
Beauregard said.  "Why aren't...huh?"
     "Going somewhere?" one corner of Lark's mouth, on the side controlled by
Sid, asked.
     "Zen's been kidnapped," Slithis said.  "We're going after him, and we don't
have much time.  So if you want to join us, you've got five seconds to choose."
     Sid and Johnny didn't hesitate, as they wobbled Lark's body over to the
minibus.  Slithis opened the door behind the front passenger's seat and Lark's
body fell in.
     "We're going," Johnny told them.  "The things they do with bodies here
really tire us out!"
     "Wait for me!" Beauregard exclaimed.  He hopped into the minibus just
before Slithis shut the door.  "I was having fun, up until the time a group of
drunken co-eds tried to use me as a beach ball."
     *I tried to warn them,* Lewis's disembodied voice said.  *They wouldn't
listen to me.*
     "Not surprising," Beauregard said.  "I don't listen to you either."
     *Philistine,* Lewis sniffed, disdainfully.
     "Hang on to your beers!" Joe Don I exclaimed.  He moved the stick into
the slot that read 'overdrive,' and the minibus shot out of the Hotel Nympho,
soaring into the sky above Netherspace beach.
     By the time Megabot, decked out in a Hawaiian-style hula dress, a lei,
and a bumper sticker that read, 'Ten Ton Love Machine,' arrived on the scene,
the minibus was just a speck in the sky.  Megabot regarded it silently.
     "Oooh," one of the women said, as she staggered to her feet.  "What
just happened?"
     "I don't know," another said.  "But I don't want to be stuck with the
bill for thi--hey, it's Meggie!"  Megabot swiveled his head to regard the
women.  "That's right, it's almost time for the volleyball championships!
Come on, let's get down to the beach, quick!"  The women surrounded Megabot,
urging him to leave the damaged suite with them.
     Megabot regarded the minibus as it finally disappeared from even the
robot's exceptional sight.  He emitted a short, smug humming sound, and
allowed himself to be guided into the hallway.


     "They're pulling away!" Milagro Bekn'kse reported, as he looked up from
the flame-emitting computer console.
     "How can they be pulling away?" Susan B. Anthony, Vice President in
Charge of Plots to Control Sfstory and commanding officer of the ship they
were on, the PLS Tell-Tale Heart, asked.  "Didn't Bennett Quark disable their
drives like I ordered him to?"
     "He was in the process of doing that," Hourus Jebillip said.  "We pulled
him off to interrogate Cardinal Van Cleef and Cardinal Hagen.  Apparently, the
guards in Quark's lab conspired to knock Quark out and took our prisoners to
the hangar bay, where they and their compatriots got on board and took off."
     "What did he manage to get done?" Susan asked.
     "The warp drive," Milagro reported.  "Plus about sixty-six point six
percent of the fuel on the vessel was siphoned.  Their regular star drives
might be superior to ours, but they can't run for long."
     "Very well!" Susan exclaimed.  "We'll go into warp and run them over..."
     "We can't do that either," Edgar Allen Poe, who was nominally the captain
of the PLS Tell-Tale Heart, said, timidly.  "Before they left, our disloyal
minions sabotaged *our* warp drive as well.  It will take six point six six
hours to effect repairs, and we'll have to shut down all drives to do that..."
     "What?!" J. Edgar Hoover asked, angrily.  "What kind of commie nonsense
is that?  All we got to do is get some red-blooded Americans into the engine
room so they can do what they do best!"
     "The last time they did that," Hourus pointed out, "we were cleaning up
vomit and Budweiser cans for a week."
     "We can't afford to lose our prey," Susan told them, with a ruthless edge
in her voice that everyone, including Hoover, paid attention to.  "Set course
to follow the HMS Shannon II -- they'll run out of fuel before they get out of
range of our long-range sensors.  And give me a full report on who was involved
in the escape in one hour."
     Susan turned and stalked into the Captain's private office/sauna, already
trying to formulate a way to explain what had happened to Satan T. Lucifer


     As the Space Toaster lurched through space, Quooth hummed an obscure
tune, that drifted between 'Don't Cry For Me Maria' and the theme from any or
all of the Godzilla movies.  A light on the control panel blinked to tell phim
that the Toaster had successfully completed the transition from Netherspace
to 001SFSTORY, to which Quooth responded by pouring tea on it.
     Given Quooth's less than sober state of mind, it was understandable that
phe did not immediately notice that phe was not alone in the Toaster.  But
then, that was also partially the fault of the other person in the Toaster,
who wasn't making any noise, not due to any desire to remain hidden, but due
to the fact that he lacked a mouth, or a head.
     Governor Schlub's headless body stood facing Quooth for several minutes,
as if trying to figure out what Quooth was humming, and why phe was pouring
imaginary tea on the console.  Eventually, he tired of reflecting on these
fascinating questions, and decided to make his presence known, by stepping
in front of Quooth.
     Quooth looked up at him, and rubbed a feeler against phis antennae in
     "You're not a rockette," Quooth stated, with a fair degree of certainty.
     Schlub made some vague hand gestures, as if to indicate 'yes, I am not
 a rockette.'
     "Your bowling ball is basket weaving," Quooth said, with some alarm.
Schlub turned to look behind him, but saw nothing alarming -- certainly not
a bowling ball engaged in craftswork.  Schlub turned back, and saw that
Quooth had chosen that brief but decisive moment to pass out.
     Schlub regarded the unconscious Wzaxtil for several moments, before
leaning over and reaching for phis Holy Harmonica.


     "This food is really...something," Kalvin Certain said, uncertainly.
"Hard to tell what, precisely, but I have strong doubts that it's synonomous
with 'edible.'"
     He looked up at Gham, who hadn't touched her plate of blackened eggs,
blackened sausage, blackened bacon, or her glass of blackened orange juice.
She was staring at the person -- Kalvin assumed it was a person, at least,
though it could have easily doubled as a giant sloth -- seated in the booth
across from her.  The sloth person was slowly eating his plate full of blackened
food, emitting several disgusting noises in the process.
     "Don't stare," he whispered to Gham.
     "I can't help it," Gham whispered back.  "These people give me the
     "Oh, come on," Kalvin said.  "I've seen uglier beings in this galaxy than
them.  Admittedly, ugly was the way those beings were *supposed* to look, but
     "Hey there," the waitress said, in a folksy drawl that would have been
quant and charming, if it weren't for the fact that mouth was on a thin
stalk that jutted out two feet from her chin.  "Enjoyin' yer meal?"
     "It's very...rustic," Kalvin said, smiling his most suave smuggler smile.
Gham tried smiling too.  It was uncertain as to whether the waitress smiled
back, but the mouth on the stalk did flex upward a bit.
     "Hey, here comes the Rev'rnd," the slothful being in the booth said,
indicating a vaguely human-like being who was shambling up the sidewalk towards
the diner's door.  "Guess that means the show's about to start."
     "What show?" Gham asked, before Kalvin could shush her.
     "A show no tourist should miss, dearie," the waitress told her.  "An actual
live resurrection!"
     "No kidding," Kalvin said.  "In Resurrection, Kansas, of all places.
Who've guessed?"
     "You're welcome to join us, sir," the Rev'rnd said, as he stepped into
the diner.  "It's family night, after all."
     Kalvin looked at the Rev'rnd's face, which was a mass of scar tissue and
band-aids, and shook his head.
     "Sorry," he said.  "Got to get up early tomorrow.  Me and the missus are
heading to L.A, to, and, y'see..."
     The slothful being got up and towered over Kalvin and Gham, its little
beady eyes glaring at them.
     "I said," the Rev'rnd said, in lower, more ominous tones, "you're welcome
to join us, sir."
     "I' very good at being sacraficed," Kalvin said.  "Very bad
at it, in fact.  Haven't been successfully sacraficed yet, I'm so poor at it."
     "Ah, I see the cause of your reluctance," the Rev'rnd told them.  "Not
to worry -- we've already got our human sacrafice lined up.  We just want you
to attend cuz we hardly ever have audiences for these things, and we figure
that if we can, you know, build up a word-of-mouth reputation, people'll flock
from all over to see us resurrect folks from the depths of Hell (tm)."
     "Oooookay," Kalvin said.  "What do you think, dear?"
     "Might as well," Gham said, uncertainly.  "Who's getting resurrected?"
     "We got a good one this week," the Rev'rnd said.  "Used t'be a teevee
star.  Lisa Bonet's her name."
     "Lisa Bonet?" Kalvin asked.
     "Yep," the Rev'rnd replied.
     "Odd," Kalvin said, as the waitress brought him the bill for the meal.
"Didn't even know she was dead."


[Author's note: as far as I know, Lisa Bonet is alive and well in 000REALLIFE.
 But in 001SFSTORY, she's dead dead dead, for reasons that will be recounted


SFSTORY -- a part of your life that won't go away, no matter how hard you try
to get rid of it.
Gary W. Olson         swede at         swede at drycas.bitnet
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